Berkeley’s collection of bicycle boulevards and traffic-calming devices are highlighted in this eight minute film done by A few interesting tidbits gleaned from the film:

  • The signs on Berkeley’s bike ways are purple because it is one of the few noticeable colors that traffic engineers hadn’t already used.
  • The stencils that identify streets as bicycle boulevards are the same size and color as stop signs painted on the ground. This gives motorists a visual clue to watch out for bicyclists.
  • The city embedded magnetic loop detectors in many intersections that change lights from red to green. This means bicyclists have to make fewer stops.
  • Bicycles are allowed to do many things that motorists can’t,
  • There are around 35 roundabouts in Berkeley and the neighborhood is responsible for taking care of the plants inside the circle. These are just the more recent traffic calming devises used by the city. In the 1980s, numerous bollards were installed in neighborhoods to slow traffic.

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Frances Dinkelspiel, Berkeleyside and CItyside co-founder, is a journalist and author. Her first book, Towers of Gold: How One Jewish Immigrant Named Isaias Hellman Created California, published in November...